Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hedge Apples...they do have a purpose & it involves bugs!

My mom recently told me about a friend who collects hedge apples every fall, takes them to Oklahoma & sells them. What? Why? She claims there are a bunch of Oklahomans who believe these things are spider-deterants so they put them in their basements. To clarify: hedge apples are those large lime-green balls that look like brains and fall out of large trees. I'm extremely thankful I've never been hit on the head by one!

A few weeks after hearing this story, I took my kids to the botanical garden to take Christmas pictures. And what just-so-happens to be on the ground that my kids decide to turn into a toy while mom tortures them taking pictures? Yes, hedge apples! In my later efforts to distract them from a melt-down I tell them what their granny told me about hedge apples getting rid of spiders. So they insist on bringing these things home & putting them in the basement.

About our basement...I've done some things to make it fun & slightly inviting if you're into riding bikes, crawling around in tent-tunnels or working-out (for me & the hubby), but it is officially unfinished & we get lots of bugs down there. Mostly rolly-pollies, crickets and a few spiders. If I don't sweep every couple weeks there will be dozens or hundreds (depending on the time of year) of dead rolly-pollies down there. Gross!

They put 2 hedge apples down there about 3 weeks ago & I swear I haven't seen a live bug since! There are maybe a handful of dead rolly-pollies, but as big as our basement is you have to go searching for them (as I did). I'm finding this truly unbelievable! For a girl constantly on the look-out for chemical-free ways to get rid of bugs, can it really be this easy? The hubby insists that the weather has gotten colder & this is the reason the bugs are gone, but really there have only been a few random cold days so far this fall. I think he's just a skeptic. Time will tell! I'm just wondering when the hedge-apple anti-bug super-power will wear off or when they will start to rot. I wonder if you can freeze them & get a new one out when you need it? If anyone from Oklahoma is reading this, please share the secret & shame on you for not telling the rest of us about this sooner!!!

1 comment:

  1. Update: a couple weeks after posting this: the rolly-pollies are back. We had a night of lots of rain & in they came. Also the hedge apples are starting to rot. So, has the "power" warn off or is the weather the factor in their coming in the basement? I'll have to do some more 'testing' & share my discoveries. Jury is still out on this one!